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Life on the road gets more costly for local bands
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Life as a young musician - just trying to be heard - isn't easy.

Cash isn't flowing like green rivers and the cost for touring is high. Then add the stifling cost of gas to that equation.

"We've got to tour. We've got to be out there; we are releasing a new album and we have to be out there supporting it," said Luke Pilgrim, lead singer of Last November. "We pretty much just have to make it happen. We have to pay for our own gas and that's like one of the hardest things about touring. This summer is going to kill us."

The same is true for local ska band Taj Motel Trio - they pay for every drop of their fuel.

Nick Kastner, a cornet and trombone player with the band, said gas prices can keep rising but they have to tour.

"We can't let it stop us ... we worked really hard trying to build up Taj and even though gas prices are high we still have to get people to come out to shows," he said.

Taj Motel Trio just returned from a Florida tour and Kastner said with high gas prices the band broke even with their cost and what money the band brought in.

"We still have tours planned for later this summer up the East Coast," Kastner said. But a West Coast tour has been scrapped, he added, because of fuel costs.

But if you're signed, you get a little relief from fuel costs.

For The Modern Society, gas prices aren't too much of a concern. Woody Brown, lead singer for the rock band, said gas prices aren't really affecting the band since they have been signed by Original Signal/Epic Records. But the label "has been refiguring routes and tour dates" to cut down on fuel costs.

This week the nationwide average price for a gallon of gas hit a new record at $4.04, according to the Associated Press. This news is not exactly what Last November, a rock band based out of Cleveland, wants to hear as they get ready to embark on a tour in Florida. The band will crisscross the state and travel from Jacksonville to Orlando to Tampa, among other stops, and then back to Georgia for a music festival in Jesup.

"We've actually been working on this hydrogen thing that we put into the van to try to get better gas mileage," Pilgrim added. "Right now it's kind of trial and error. It's doing something - it's working and it's bubbling like crazy. Hopefully that will help because it does take a huge chunk out of the band account."

Pilgrim said they have been thinking about fuel costs for quite a while and began by traveling in a 15-passenger van and not using a trailer.

"A lot of bands we play with have trailers and they get like hardly any miles to the gallon and they are that much worse because they carry that much more weight," he said. But the van, he said, "is safer and uses less gas."

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